Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Not A Review: Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

(Blurb from Goodreads) Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, √Čtienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend. 

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

WARNING: ALL CAPS OVERLOAD

This book (or the entire series tbh) features the exact sort of cover and the exact sort of title that I wouldn’t even dare disturb from its spot on the shelf in a bookstore. But then #IslaWasComing and the bloggerverse erupted and I’m like what the hell I’ll read it.

Oh boy. My head is in shreds.


This book made my girly hormones and my critic brain BATTLE IT OUT. I MEAN SERIOUSLY. I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW I COULD GIGGLE PUBLICLY. AT A BOOK CALLED ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS.

(Lame Joke: “Hey what’s the title of Book 2?”
                     “Oh, I don’t know, Anna and the Second Base, probably. Lol”
No, you are not obligated to laugh.)

But that’s not even the crucial point. The reasons for me to hate this book were numerous. But I still finished it within a day (I read it in class, tucked between the pages of Microprocessors and Interfacing – I can’t believe I did all that). I kept giggling and people kept  getting pissed off.

My hormones LOVED it. My brain HATES myself for liking this book.
Hang on, Sheldon, I'm explaining.
For starters, I HATED EVERYBODY.

I HATE ANNA because she’s an ignorant “wannabe film critic” who didn’t know France loves the cinema (I mean, hasn’t she heard of the Cannes Film Festival?).  She also keeps obsessing about this PURRFECT guy who already has a girlfriend. HIS HAIR. HIS LIPS. HIS GODDAMN WHOLE ANATOMY.  She also doesn’t realize that she’s so pretty enough to give a boner to any guy who walks into the room. And there are other “flaws” that are designed to make her character realistic except that it kept irritating the shit out of me (whenever I wasn’t giggling at her idiocites, that is – YES I HAPPEN TO BE A HYPOCRITE TA DA).

I HATE ETIENNE ST. CLAIR because –
“I cheated on her every day. In my mind, I thought of you in ways I shouldn’t have, again and again.”
If Ellie (the cheatee) were to make a book of her own, Anna would be the villain.
He also lacks a backbone. Ellie was his “just in case”. Or was it the other way round?
Oh, and by the way his “flaw” is that he is short.  Other than that, he’s PURRFECT.

I HATED THEIR FRIENDS BECAUSE THEY SHOULD HAVE MADE THEM SEE THE LIGHT.

But I have thought about this long and hard. So long, so hard. I have finally reached the conclusion that the reason why I read this book so enthusiastically despite my head screaming at me to not do it, is because Stephanie Perkins has some illusionistic capability to hoodwink people like me with her writing. 

VERDICT:
Brain: 1 star.
Hormones: 5 stars!
Me: God help me – 3 Stars 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Book Gif Tag

Andie at Metaphorical Musings tagged the not-so-giftastic me, and I took it up because I'm running low on dares this week.
And plus, it was fun updating my gif-cabulary. :)

The Great Gatsby
Yeah, alright. That ending need not have happened though.


The Color Purple 
The gifs say it all. What a book.




The 5th Wave 
My very dependable source tells me I will not like it because - 

Too much of futuristic novels, and they all start sounding similar.


The Time Traveler's Wife
I didn't like it. Yes the time traveling is unrealistic, but this book made it sound like an impossible genetic illness that breaks all physics laws. The nerd in me finds it unforgivable, sorry.


The Assassin's Curse
I haven't read this, so I looked up the blurb, and here's my verdict:


The Knife of Never Letting Go 
Stayed way past my bedtime to finish this one.

There was a lot of this - 


Patrick Ness happens to be a MAGICIAN with words.


Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Another not-yet-read-it, so I checked it out on GR and - 
Need to get my hands on this one.

A Game of Thrones 
I would have really really enjoyed it if - 

There wasn't so much beheading

 And how many DETAILED GRAPHIC sex scenes am I supposed to tolerate?



The Maze Runner 
Haven't read it, but watched the movie trailer and now I'm vaguely interested.


If I Stay

It was alright, up until the last scene when I leaked one tiny tear.
But I love Chloe Moretz, so I'm definitely watching the movie.



I know, I know, fans - please don't kill me.
I tag - 
Tansie at Totally Tansie
Crazy Caro at Crazy Utopia
and anyone else with time on their hands.

The ten books are:
Peter Pan
The Help
Throne of Glass
Divergent
Twilight
The Mortal Instruments - City Of Bones
The Mediator
Legend
13 reasons why
Pride and Prejudice

If you would like a different list of books, feel free.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

ARC Review: Ghosting - Edith Pattou

*COURTESY OF NETGALLEY*

(Blurb from Goodreads) On a hot summer night in a Midwestern town, a high school teenage prank goes horrifically awry. Alcohol, guns, and a dare. Within minutes, as events collide, innocents becomes victims—with tragic outcomes altering lives forever, a grisly and unfortunate scenario all too familiar from current real-life headlines. But victims can also become survivors, and as we come to know each character through his/her own distinctive voice and their interactions with one another, we see how, despite pain and guilt, they can reach out to one another, find a new equilibrium, and survive.

Told through multiple points of view in naturalistic free verse and stream of consciousness, this is an unforgettable, haunting tale.


From page one, you get the idea that you are not in for an ordinary narrative style. At first I thought it was some formatting blunder; but I read on (sheesh I’m so stupid) and I thought, “Whoa, this is some blessed blunder, the plot makes more sense this way”, but I’m not so stupid – this thought was immediately followed by the realization that it was intended this way.

You know life? Like how it’s happening for more than one person, and for that person (s)he is its protagonist? Ghosting applies that into its narration, everyone gets a chance to tell a part of the story as they see it; everyone including the doomed kids, the kid who doomed other kids, and the police chief who has the highlight of his career. From POV 1 you think this guy is the bad guy, then his POV starts and you think okay maybe he’s not so bad, and then another POV starts and you scratch your head.

But that’s not all. The narrative isn’t prose. It’s not very poetic (which if it had been would have made me run around hugging this book), but it’s structured like one epic poem. It feels like how Virginia Woolf experimented with The Waves (although that was poetry which was NOT structured into a poem, which was a DNF for me; the plot moved so so slow, glad you asked). And everyone takes on a different voice when it’s their turn – Chloe with POVetry titles, Felix with his weed supressed ADHD who doesn’t even bother with breaking down the prose, Faith with her short and sweet sentences, and such. You become fond all these kids.

The plot isn’t OUTSTANDINGLY outstanding or something, but the narration and its characters make it into something that you want to finish within one sitting.

VERDICT: 3.5 stars

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fantasy Social Circle

If you’ve come across my second Liebster post, you might have noticed my answer to Briana’s question, “If you had to pick two fictional characters to be your parents and raise you from baby to adult who would you pick and why?”

That got me thinking. Why stop there? Why not wish for an entire social circle?
There are many idealist father figures featured in books – Hans Hubermann, Dumbledore, Sirius Black – but Atticus trumps them all. All those scenes between Scout and him makes me feel incredibly fond of them.
She kicks ass - human asses, godly asses, demigod asses, when it comes to Percy.
August is the wise one, June is the angry one, May is the sweet one. And all of them have an infinite capacity for love. They also make honey. WHAT AN AMAZING BOOK THIS IS.
I need a geeky younger brother who has no clue about girls, keeps researching whether dogs have psychic abilities, and is cool with his sister having a relationship with their domestic ghost.
This one happens to be a childhood fantasy that has stood the test of time.
She dyes her hair whatever godforsaken colour she wants, she is the protector of the downtrodden and the weak, pretends like she isn't vulnerable, loves Cher and anything Cher, gets pregnant and decides to keep the baby.
Won-Won is King. He irritates you to death, keeps picking fights, is sarcastic, hates Snape, loves Hermione but doesn't know it, is ready to hunt horcruxes and play deadly chess so that you know you are not alone. And he has a humongous family that adopts you just by association.
I can't choose. I CAN'T CHOOSE ALRIGHT? *throws pillows at the computer* I'd be HAPPY EVER AFTER with any of them.

To know the kind of things he does for his crush/boyfriend's friends, you need to read the series. (After book 3, I continued for the sole sake of Magnus.) He is ... indescribably awesome for a friend, an indescribable honour for a boyfriend. He says he is a "freewheeling bisexual" and all that, so fingers crossed.
You need to read this book, if you haven't already. Remember I wrote a post on how before the boy and the girl become an item they have this intense hate relationship and how overused all that drama is? That technically happens here too - to an extent where the fights become physical and WAR - but when you continue you realize things are not how they seem. I do not have a crush on Jonah, he belongs to Taylor - it feels wrong even coveting him, however fictional he is.

And that's it people. My brain has refused to cooperate to help expand this list. Share your lists please.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Review: Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas

And the award for the most aggravating heroine goes to …


Celaena Sardothien

Surprised? You really have no right to be.

Miss J and I were one day (about two years ago) admiring book covers on a list in Goodreads when we clicked something and a breath-taking cover popped up. I read it. TORTUROUSLY THERE WERE NO WORDS FOR THE PAIN. I didn’t even bother to rate it on GR. I later realized the book owned MASSIVE fandoms; bloggers started collapsing around the time Heir of Fire (Book 3) released.
And I was like –

 
This is why I liked the book –

Celaena is infuriating. She is a biological impossibility. YA snobs take their time to patiently explain how characters in YA are unrealistic – she isn’t unrealistic, she is impossible. She, a reputed assassin – the Queen of the Underworld (only 18, that too – what an achievement) – gets caught and sent to a death camp that is deadly by general consensus. The Crown Prince Dorian (who is handsome, of course) gets her to agree to compete to be the King’s Champion for four years in exchange for freedom later. She is brought from Endovier by the captian Chaol Westfall (who is also handsome, of course).
So this girl – who psychologically speaking should be suffering from PTSD – shows none of it save for very obviously scripted nightmares. Then she takes care to tell us what she’s wearing (in painful detail) EACH TIME SHE CHANGES – be it her rags, or the palace finery or her ball dress or her nightie or AARGH.

“She loved clothes – loved the feeling of silk, of velvet, of satin, of suede and chiffon – and was fascinated by the grace of seams, the intricate perfection …. When she was free … she could buy all the clothes she wanted.”
A minimum of a paragraph on her attire is to be expected if you’re reading this, followed by everyone’s reaction to it. 


I got disgusted by the number of “oh!” in the book.
 “Oh, she loved porridge”
“Oh, how she adored candy!”
“Oh, she wanted Dorian”

Oh how I want to slap you senseless, C.
Celaena keeps comparing her present figure to when she was more of a beauty. Dorian keeps admiring the moonlit beauty, knowing not why. Chaol starts trusting her, knowing not why.

I kept slamming my head on the desk, knowing exactly why.
C is a collage of all things we like in a heroine – she loves to read, she’s sentimental with music (and Dorian overhears her playing the piano – I started crying then), she’s incredible with steel in her hand, she is kind, she is smart, she is beautiful, puppies love her, she loves parties …

And oh she gets her periods back (hurrah!) and one chapter is devoted to it.
She sneaks into one fucking masquerade ball (remember the heroine is an assassin) – two chapters are devoted to it (or was it three?)

She keeps admiring everyone – including how well Dorian has accessorized his cape with his belt and all that shit. She keeps getting surprised by the strength and kindness in Chaol’s face. She keeps making me cringe with every alternate sentence in an emotional scene. True story.
And cruelty to dogs make her cry, she feels guilty when she suspects her friend of being evil, but not an ounce of remorse is mentioned with regards to all the supposed killing she has done.

Not one fucking character is at least pseudo real. Our potential crushes are deliberately handsome. The bad guys are ugly as hell. The premise sounded promising but it gets MURDERED by the way this book has been written.
Sheer agony. I need to be given an award for getting to The End of this book.

VERDICT: What do you think?
Add your graffiti here before you leave; this wall needs all the colour it can get. And check back, I always reply as promptly as the wifi allows me to. ;)